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Sep 5, 2019

Latest Trans Mountain legal challenge 'makes people wary': CWB CEO

CWB CEO: Trans Mountain expansion the right decision for Canada

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The Trans Mountain pipeline project’s latest legal hurdle is another hit to investor and business sentiment for Canada, CWB Financial Group’s president and chief executive officer warned.

“It just makes people wary,” Chris Fowler told BNN Bloomberg, when asked about the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision Wednesday to allow six of 12 legal challenges against the pipeline expansion to proceed.

“Now, we will have another waiting period of exactly when we get into the ground, when we get these things moving.”

The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision calls for court proceedings that will examine whether the federal government adequately consulted with Indigenous communities between August 2018 and June 2019.

The Trudeau government in 2016 approved a plan to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta’s oil patch to the B.C. coast. Last year the Federal Court of Appeal ripped up the original approval, citing an insufficient environmental review and consultations with Indigenous communities.

The Liberals say they fixed both problems and approved the project a second time in June.

Fowler added that he continues to be optimistic about the future of the Trans Mountain expansion, despite the latest setback.

“The decision yesterday on the federal court, I imagine that will slow [Trans Mountain] down once again, so I think there’s a lot of caution about when this will go,” Fowler said.

“So [Trans Mountain], I think personally it’s a right decision for Canada to be built and we look forward to a positive outcome.”